The Week in Small Business – 07.09.11
We do the legwork of finding the best in small business news and links. You have more time to do what you love.
It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over
Was this what Yogi Berra meant? The Wall Street Journal says that while big companies are back to normal, smaller businesses are still struggling to shrug off the economic recession. The piece includes a 35-person firm that continued its recession practice of requiring employees to take one unpaid day off each month until sales rev up.
Do State Tax Policies Favor Big Over Small?
Robb Mandelbaum of The New York Times examines the tax topic of combined reporting and how, in certain states, large corporations are able to chop what they owe the government. The methods are rarely feasible for small businesses that only operate at the local level. It's become a legislative hot button as states look to stabilize their revenues, though Rhode Island, for one, recently said no to a proposed reform.
Health Insurance Exchanges Could See Spotlight
Speaking of the states: The Hill checks in with a brief item on a politically partisan report that recommends state governments start investing in health insurance exchanges for their small businesses. Last year's federal healthcare reform included provisions for such exchanges, though the piece notes that most of the attention has gone to the marketplace for individual consumers rather than small businesses. Beginning in 2014, states can operate such insurance pools in tandem with consumer exchanges to leverage increased purchasing power.
Self-Employment Booms In Cuba
Cuba has issued more than 300,000 self-employment licenses during the last eight months, and it might be redefining the phrase "home office" in process. NPR reports that since Cuban small businesses were nationalized by Fidel Castro, much of their commercial space was turned into housing. Now, as Castro's brother Raul eases those restrictions, shops are popping up in what are technically front yards and living rooms. Meanwhile, some new entrepreneurs have a familiar-sounding gripe: Taxes and government regulations.
Born or Bred: Which Entrepreneur Are You?
A recent Babson College study takes a look at whether your business is in your blood — quite literally. The verdict? Entrepreneurship can be taught, and having entrepreneurial parents doesn't increase the likelihood of you starting your own business. Consider the source: Babson's a business school. But Inc.com notes that a less-recent Harvard study indicated college students were more inclined to start their own businesses if convinced they had the chops. What about you: Nature or nurture?
Kevin Casey is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.